Monday, February 25, 2013

A Grateful, but Heavy Heart

This Wednesday, February 27th, was supposed to be our due date for our sweet little Taylor.  I have found myself feeling kind of like an emotional hurricane the past few days.  I have several friends who have had babies in the past week and it just makes my heart full of delight to see the miracles of life that have come into this world.  But at the same time, I find my heart heavy, knowing that if what could have been had actually happened, we would be very close to holding our new sweet little baby.  It's just so hard to face the reality that we did suffer a loss and that that loss still hurts.

But at the same time, we have this new beautiful little miracle that is growing and getting bigger every single day.  THIS little miracle is almost 13 weeks along and has the strongest, most adorable heartbeat you have ever heard.  I indulged and bought myself a fetal doppler so that I could have some peace of mind.  I find myself sitting alone, listening to my baby, praying, and thanking God for this little symbol of joy that will be gracing our presence in September.  The other day, I even heard hiccups!!  I mean, how stinkin' cute is that??

But as a mother I'm struggling right now.  I look at Cameron and see the most precious little boy in the entire world, who I couldn't imagine ever living my life without.  He brings me joy like nobody else ever could and he has the most contagious laugh you have ever heard.  He's funny, he's silly, he's snuggly and he's the best little buddy I could ever ask for.  My love for him is greater and more amazing than any love I have ever know in this life.  Because of the love that I have for him, I'm already so in love with this baby that I am carrying, because I know the joy that she (or he) is going to bring into our lives as well.  But I struggle because I also had that love for my little Taylor.

When we first had our miscarriage, I said that the biggest thing that would bother me is if everyone forgot what we went through, and forgot about Taylor.  That hasn't happened at all, and I'm thankful for my friends who continue to pray for us and remember us often.  I have been so very blessed in that capacity and I am forever grateful.

I am so thankful to be pregnant, even through the morning sickness (which I still have by the way) and I cannot wait until September to look this sweet baby in the face and fall in love just like I did with Cameron.  But this week is bittersweet.  If you get a chance this week, say a prayer for us.  I thank God for Taylor every single day because I still consider her one of the most precious gifts I have ever received.  Without our loss, as painful as it was and still is, we wouldn't be expecting this new baby.

On March 15 we are scheduled for our next ultrasound and we will get to find out what we are having!!  I am so excited and filled with joy for this new life and I just feel grateful.  My heart is heavy, but it's happy and that is a long, long way from where I was in August of last year.  Thank you all so much for your thoughts, your prayers, your love and your support.  I cannot wait to share more with you as Baby W grows throughout this pregnancy.  Blessings <><

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Hymn of Promise

I haven't written in a very long time, and I've honestly missed writing on here.  Things have been incredibly busy.  Ordination papers are due in less than two weeks.  I have a pastor profile to complete, and a million things going on as the season of Lent approaches.  It is simply a busy season.

After our miscarriage last year, things seemed impossible.  The hope of having another baby was filled with question.  Would we ever get pregnant again, and if we did, would everything be okay?  I was scared and I don't know if I've ever prayed so much in my life as I have since August 8, 2012.  The day that we found out about our miscarriage was the worst day of my life.  But in the midst of it I honestly believed that the loss of our sweet Taylor was not in vain.

I heard so many stories from friends who I didn't even know had miscarriages, who told me that as soon as they had their next pregnancy and held that precious child they knew they wouldn't trade them for anything.  I know that I would never have traded Taylor for anything in the world.  But, I do believe, and I had to believe that some good would come out of it.  That if we hadn't lost that precious baby, we wouldn't have this other baby who means the world to us.

On miscarriage support boards there is this common term, "Rainbow Baby."  It comes from the same understanding of the rainbow that we get from Noah's ark, that after the flood, after the disaster, after the terror, comes a promise that things are going to be okay.  A "Rainbow Baby" is a baby that comes after the miscarriage, the baby that is a sign of promise and hope for parents who have suffered a loss.

This brings me to the best news ever.  Our Rainbow Baby:

On December 21st, I woke up with a "hunch" and took a pregnancy test.  I had been praying so much, and all I could say over and over again was that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was to find out that we were pregnant.

After three ultrasounds we can confirm that baby is growing and the heart rate is increasing and baby looks great.  We are over 9 weeks pregnant and so close to being out of the first trimester.  At our last ultrasound Baby W was wiggling all over the place and had a beautiful 171 bpm just ticking away.

I am already so in love, and so happy and so overwhelmed at this promise.  I think of Taylor Ashley Wittman every single day and what a wonderful blessing she was in this world, even if I was the only one who really knew her.  I also can't help but think now that without Taylor and the pain that we went through, we would never be looking at this beautiful ultrasound of this Rainbow Baby.

One of my favorite hymns is the "Hymn of Promise".  It is a song that reminds us that the biggest blessings are hidden in tiny places and only God knows what is going to happen.  In all of my doubt and fear and crying, God knew that this baby was coming to us, and that this baby was our hidden blessing.

Boy or Girl?  I have no idea, and honestly I would be completely happy either way.  Although, I truly can't wait to find out!  We still have a very long way to go, but I have never felt more sure about anything than I have about the fact that this baby is going to be okay and by September we will be holding this sweet little miracle and wondering how the time passed by so quickly.

Promises are hidden in tiny and unusual places, and sometimes it seems like the waiting is going to kill us, but what we find on the other side is a blessing from God far greater than what we could have imagined for ourselves.  I cannot wait to meet this precious gift, and as our pregnancy continues I can't wait to share more with all of you.

Blessings <><

Monday, August 20, 2012

Consider the Dandelion...

Last night we had a prayer group gathering at church to pray for the students, faculty, and teachers who were heading back to school this week.  It was a great opportunity to be in prayer for a huge chunk of our community, not just at Epworth, but throughout all of Durham.  We got together in teams and every person said their own prayer.  It was beautiful, and it was an exciting thing to be part of.

But before we started our prayer, there were three ladies from the prayer team who talked about what they do and why they started the prayer group at Epworth.  There was one lady, Miss Ruby, who really got to me with her words.  It was like sitting on the front porch with my grandmother while she gave me words of inspiration.  I'm not sure if she has any idea that her words really touched me, but she said a lot of things that I needed to hear.

In particular, she started talking about flowers, and mentioned specifically, the dandelion.  She said most people look at the dandelion and see nothing but a weed.  They pluck them up and throw them away because it's something you don't want in your yard.  But she said, take time to look at the dandelion, because it's one of the most complex flowers you can find.

Most flowers have a particular number of petals that you can expect to find.  But with a dandelion, because they are so complex and so varied, no two are the same.  The other interesting thing is that a dandelion is not actually one flower, but several flowers that come together.  The outside is the disc, and the middle is made up of little florets.  It's fascinating.

In addition, the dandelion is one of the most resilient flowers, able to survive and thrive in almost any condition.  It also has known health benefits, and is listed as one of the top six herbs in Chinese medicine.

But what's interesting about the dandelion doesn't end there...

At the end of the dandelion's life, it turns into this ghost like thing and the seeds fly away so that the plant may be reborn.

What an image of resurrection, of new life, of new beginning.

The dandelion is a lot like us.  We are resilient, even though we don't always feel that way.  We are complex.  Our personalities, our lives, our backgrounds, our histories are all different.  No two of us are the same.  But the best part is that our lives don't end at our death.  Instead that is the moment that we are reborn, when we have the opportunity to be with God, to have that resurrection and that tangible promise of fellowship with the One who created us.

Last night, Miss Ruby's words really stuck out to me, because they were words that I needed to hear.  I posted on Facebook last week the words of one of my favorite hymns, "The Hymn of Promise" which said:

"In the end is our beginning, in our time infinity.  In our doubt there is believing.  In our life, eternity.  In our death, a resurrection.  At the last, a victory; unrevealed until it's season, something God alone can see."

I love these words, because they give me hope.  We don't have to know all of the answers.  We don't have to know where our lives will lead us.  We don't have to know exactly what we will be doing from one day to the next.  We simply need to allow ourselves to breathe, to take one step at a time, to relish in those good moments and breathe deeply through the bad ones.  And sometimes we need to just be...  But what we do know, what we are assured through scripture, through what Jesus taught us, is that our death, our suffering, our moments of shame and of doubt are not in vain, but they come with the promise of resurrection, of new life.

Just like the dandelion, we will give up what we once were, to have a new and better life.

Every once in a while in the past few days, I encounter someone who hasn't heard the news yet about our miscarriage.  They ask how my pregnancy is going, and I have to face the painful sting, all over again, of explaining what happened.  It hurts, and I feel like I have to keep facing the reality of it all, over and over again.  But then I remember the dandelion.  I remember what Jesus did for me, and I remember that what I'm going through is temporary.  I will always miss Taylor, and I will always think about the life that could have been.  But this moment of agony, and of angst, and of wondering what will happen next is only temporary.

So here it is, my blessing for the day.  Pajamas.  Yes, I said it, pajamas.  I get so tickled at people who post things on Facebook about feeling bad about wearing their pajamas at 5 o'clock.  They would be shocked if they came to our house.  When I'm home, I want to be comfortable.  I don't stay in my work clothes or my Sunday best.  I get comfy.  Nathan and I are both that way, and of course, Cameron is too.  My child hates to wear clothes anyway, so he's usually wearing something pretty snuggly around the house.  I love pajamas. Today is a rainy day, and it's a good day for snuggling.  As soon as I get home from work today, I'm throwing on my pajamas and loafing on the couch with my baby and it is going to be glorious. There will be no shame, only comfort, and I am really looking forward to it.  :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Finding Peace

I didn't expect this to be easy.  I really didn't.  But I had no idea the emotional and physical strain that a miscarriage really takes out on a person, and if you haven't been through it before, you have NO idea what to expect.  We went to UNC women's hospital yesterday because of a little scare that I had.  A week after the miscarriage I was still having a lot of pain and I wasn't sure what was normal and what wasn't.  It turned out that everything was okay.  I hated having to go back to the place where we found out about our miscarriage, but I ended up getting some much needed answers and responses to what exactly had happened.  I had spent the past week worrying about things that I didn't need to worry about.  I was terrified that things were wrong that weren't really wrong.  I was terrified that I would never be able to have children again.

But our doctor was wonderful.  Dr. Mercier at UNC hospital is one of the nicest, most compassionate doctors I have ever experienced.  She sat next to me in the chair with her arm around me and let me cry.  She assured me that I was healthy, that the chances of us going through this same thing again are so slim.  She told me that we had a really good chance of getting pregnant again and having a totally healthy pregnancy.  And the biggest reason she could assure me of that is because we have Cameron, proof that we are capable of not just having children, but making really FREAKING cute children.

She listened as I listed all the reasons that I was scared, anxious, and nervous.  She didn't rush me, she just let me talk. By the way, I should also mention that this appointment happened at 3:30 when she was supposed to be off by 3.  She may have been a doctor, but yesterday she was a minister, and I'm very thankful for that last minute appointment.

I share all this not to say that we are ready to try right away to get pregnant.  I need some time, Nathan needs some time, and I think that my body would really appreciate some healing time.  However, it's really nice to have a renewed sense of hope.  I will always, always, always, love and miss my Taylor Ashley Wittman.  I will always think of her.  I dread February 27, the day that she was due, because I know it's going to hurt like crazy.  But I do find peace in knowing this isn't our last chance.

People keep telling us that they are praying, and I believe wholeheartedly that they really are.  In the past few days I have had this great sense of peace, and I can't help but think that it's a God thing.  That all of those prayers are being answered and God is helping us to find rest, and assurance.  I just genuinely feel like things are going to be okay.  Right now, my heart hurts like crazy, but I know that one day, things are going to be okay.

The sucky part about yesterday is that I WAS told that I had to take another dose of cytotec, just to make sure that the miscarriage is complete.  It's not fun (obviously), it's painful, and it's turning me into an emotional wreck.  But the good news is that soon, the physical part of all of this will be over.  My heart will always have a little Taylor sized whole (yes I know that's really corny and cliche, but I mean it), but I'm ready for this pain to be over with.

I do have a few blessings to share today...

1.  Back to work.  I love my job.  I really really really love my job.  But I was dreading going back to work.  Not because I don't want to work, but because I was so afraid that I would just break down if someone asked me how I was.  I have to say, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I came to the office and there were cards waiting for me.  Every person who walked into my office yesterday and today gave me a hug and told me they were praying for me.  It didn't make me feel overwhelmed. It just made me feel loved, and that was a good feeling.

2. Random acts of kindness.  Today a family from my church dropped by an apple crisp (one of my favorite desserts).  We have gotten tons of desserts and cakes, and I'm ashamed to tell you how much I have eaten of them all by myself.  The best part, though, was that their daughter, Anna, who is super adorable, made me a card with a picture she had drawn of herself and her dog.  I loved it, and I'll probably be hanging it on my office door.

3.  Flowers on my desk.  I guess this could be tied in to the first one.  The prayer team at our church takes flowers to all of our shut-ins each week.  Hope and I are pretty lucky because we always end up with flowers on our desks as well.  They are beautiful, and they are a nice little piece of sunshine in our offices.  This week, however, I had a vase full of daisies.  And not just any daisies, but white and pink daisies... my absolute favorites.

4.  ... I saved the best for last.  My 13 month old baby boy (yes I know he's technically a toddler and not a baby) has finally started walking.  He's been cruising forever and holding on to the furniture to get around. But this week, we have finally gotten him to start walking.  He won't walk to Nathan or to me, but he WILL walk to his favorite toy. We hold it up in the air, let Cameron go, and he'll take three or four steps to get to it.  It's adorable!  It's another sign that my child is getting more independent (sad face) but I am so proud of him.  I can't wait to finally catch it on camera so I can share his cuteness with the world.

Thank you friends, for all of your love and support.  Please keep those prayers coming!  They really are making a difference.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Overwhelmed By Love

A few short days ago, I got the worst news I could possibly imagine, that we had lost our baby.  11 weeks we had spent in glorious anticipation of the life that was to be, not including the time we spent dreaming of our baby before we even got pregnant.  All of that excitement was gone, ripped from us without a moment to even catch our breath or process what was happening.

The past week has been awful.  Every time I start to think I'm okay, the world just stops turning again, and I have to pause to try to take it all in.  But in the midst of that we realized we have something that most people spend their whole lives searching for...

We have love.  And I don't mean that in a hokey rainbows, unicorns and butterflies sort of way.  I mean, we are genuinely loved.  And I have never felt that so much in my life as I have felt it in the past week.  We are loved.  Nathan, Cameron and I have been so blessed by phone calls, cards, emails, text messages, flowers.  I just feel overwhelmed.

I posted the news on Facebook and within a few hours I had over 100 comments.  I have received over 200 messages and emails from people I have known forever, and some people who I have never even met.  I have read stories from friends who have gone through similar experiences.  I haven't had time to respond to all of them yet but I am working really hard to make sure that I do.

I can't put into words how much it has helped.  Every story is different.  I have dear friends who have had four or five miscarriages and never told anyone outside of their families, yet they shared it with me.  I have friends who lost babies at the same point we did, just at a time when you think you are safe.  Most of those friends went on to have healthy babies within a year of their loss.  I know that we aren't necessarily guaranteed to have the same outcome, but it gives me SO much hope to know that it is possible, that we aren't doomed to never having another baby.  Although, I've also had friends who had the same problem and went on to adopt a child who they could never dream of living without.

Every story is different and yet all of them give me hope.

I was really unsure about being so outspoken about our news and sharing what we had been through.  But now, I'm so glad that I did.  The pain hasn't gone away at all, and honestly I don't think that it will. And in a weird way, I'm okay with that.  Nathan said the most beautiful thing to me the other day (it's incredible how good he is with words).  He said that the pain, as awful as it is, is a way of carrying Taylor with us.  Maybe those words sound crazy written down, but I felt real comfort in them.  That it's a way of holding on to someone I will always love with all of my heart, even though the rest of the world never knew her.

But even with all that pain, I find myself searching for joy in my life.  I'm taking more time to notice what's good instead of being so complacent all the time.  I still cry myself to sleep every night, and I imagine that will last for a while.  But the first thing I wake up to every morning is the love of my life (Nathan, duh) and the sweetest, most adorable little boy God could have ever blessed me with.

That is awesome.  And that alone makes me realize just how blessed I really am.  And yet the blessings don't end there.  I have a wonderful family.  On both sides.  My parents have sent cards and flowers and they call every chance they get to make sure that we are okay.  They even made sure that we were able to go out as a family and have some time together.  Nathan's parents have been wonderful too, making chicken noodle soup when it was 95 degrees outside because it was the only food that sounded good to me.  I've already mentioned all of our friends, but some have been especially wonderful.  They know who they are, but I have to mention especially Casey, a close friend from Duke, and Stephanie, my Kappa Delta little sister.  They may not know it, but their words of encouragement have stuck with me so much over the past few days and I don't know what I would do without them.

I feel loved.  I really genuinely do.

This whole message today has been about blessings, but as I said in my last post I would close with a special blessing.  Today I have two.

The first may not sound like a blessing, but it's so funny that I had to share it as one anyway.  This morning I woke up to find a naked Cameron covered in poop, and playing with it.  His bed was covered, his sheets were covered, his teddy bear was covered, and yes, HE was covered.  I have never given him a bath so quickly as I did this morning.  I list this as a blessing because even though it was a mess, I'm thankful to have a crazy child who keeps me on my toes, who keeps me humble, and who reminds me to always expect the unexpected.

My other blessing is really random, but it's one that I'll share anyway.  I got a bird.  His name is Jimmy Buffett.  And Yes, I know you aren't supposed to make commitments in emotional times.  However, it was something that I had been thinking about for a while.  And honestly, why not?  Cameron loves him, I love him, and I think even Nathan loves him.  He sings every time he hears Cameron laugh, and the combination of all that happiness in my house the past few days has been really awesome, and genuinely good for my soul.  So I have no shame in my emotional purchase.

Thank you to all of you, who have supported us who have prayed for us, who have thought of us, who have encouraged us and who have loved us.  I truly am overwhelmed and so, so, very blessed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Learning to Breathe

When I was in High School, one of my favorite songs was "Learning to Breathe" by Switchfoot, and in the past few days that song has really been on my mind, especially these words:

"I never thought that I could fall like that, never knew that I could hurt this bad.  I'm learning to breathe.  I'm learning to crawl.  I'm finding that you and you alone can break my fall.  I'm living again, awake and alive.  I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies."

It's as if the song was written for me.  In the past few days I feel like someone hit a magical "reset" button on my life.  Sitting in the ultrasound room at the hospital, I remember having this moment after the doctor came in when I thought to myself, "I'm actually not sure if I have breathed in the last thirty minutes."  Obviously I had, or I would have been passed out on the floor.  But I couldn't remember breathing.  I felt like someone was sitting on my chest, keeping me from pulling oxygen into my body.  I had to remind myself to breathe.

I think we all face moments in life when we forget to breathe.  Some of those moments are better than others.  The day that Cameron was born was a whirlwind.  My labor from start to finish was about three hours long.  I pushed for about 15-20 minutes which is almost unheard of for a first time mom.  The funny part though is that I was so focused, and so intent on getting my child OUT, that I wasn't thinking about breathing.  There were people yelling at me, including my husband telling me that I needed to breathe.  I remember thinking, "I don't need to breathe, I just need to push."

I can, of course, laugh about it now.  It's ridiculous.  Of course I needed to breathe.  But in the moment, you're doing your best to focus on one thing at a time, and breathing was not a priority.  My priority was serving an eviction notice to my child who insisted on staying in the womb for 8 days past his due date.

This week was not one of those happy times, but my thought process was the same.  I wasn't sure if I was breathing, but in the moment what I needed was not to breathe, what I needed was to push through.  I needed to get out, I needed to be free.  I needed to think.

But it's not easy...

I literally feel like I've had to learn to breathe this week.  I feel like someone punched me in the gut and knocked all the wind out of me and I just can't remember how to get it back.  Nothing makes me happy.  Let me clarify that I don't mean that I'm depressed.  I'm heartbroken, but not depressed.  I watched a funny movie last night and I actually laughed.  It wasn't a fake forced laugh either.  I mean I laughed to the point of crying and it felt great.  I laugh at crazy things that Cameron is doing all the time.  He keeps me in stitches.

The problem is that I almost feel guilty when I laugh, or when I'm happy.  I know that I don't need to.  I don't need anyone to tell me that.  It's just how I feel.  And blame it on being a finicky woman anyway, and adding hormones and heartache to all of this mess and my thoughts get even crazier.  I can't understand how everyone's lives seem to just be moving along as if nothing happened.  I feel like the world should stop for everyone, because this week, my world certainly stopped... at least for a little while.  But at the same time, I need people to be strong, to laugh, to be positive so that I can be positive too.

It's crazy, and it's painful, and it SUCKS.

I'm learning to breathe.  I'm learning to begin again.  I'm struggling to accept my situation and this crappy hand that my family has been dealt this week.  I can't change it.  I can't fix it.  I can't make it better.  I just have to learn to breathe, to crawl, and to depend on God in those moments when I just need to crash.

One of the hardest things this week has been when it comes to our family prayer at the dinner table.  Every time we pray for our food, we close our prayer with Cameron by saying "Thank you for Mommy, and Daddy, and Baby Cameron, and our new baby."  It's been incredibly difficult and painful realizing that our prayer won't be the same anymore.  That may seem like a small thing, but it really hurts.  We still pray for Taylor and thank God for her, but instead of having a tone of hope and excitement, it now has a tone of sorrow and anguish.

One thing I did promise myself about this blog is that every day I post, I'll finish with a blessing.  It's good for me, I think, and a good way to remind myself that there is hope.  So I'll close with this...

Last night things were going pretty well, but as is the case these days it doesn't take much for me to start crying or to get upset again.  I was sitting in the living room, watching tv and something got me started,  I don't even remember what it was now, but my sweet boy, Cameron came immediately to the rescue.  He crawled over to me, stood up, put his hand on my leg, and started blowing me kisses.  And when he blows kisses, he doesn't just do the hand gesture, but as loudly as he can he says "MEH."  It's not your typical "muah" sound, just "meh", and it's adorable.  I smiled, he smiled, and then he began giggling hysterically.  It doesn't take much to make him giggle though.  He's an absolute mess.

I'm learning to breathe.. and I'm learning that it's okay to struggle.  But every once in a while, I'm doing more than just  breathing, but I'm getting a glimpse, and a reminder, of the fact that in spite of all the pain, life is good.  God is good, and there certainly is something to hope for and hold on to.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Psalm 139:13- Surviving

This week, our family has been through one of the most heartbreaking and terrible things that a family could ever go through.  The loss of a baby.  It's hard for me to even say the words out loud.  We lost our baby.  I struggled over whether to write about this.  I don't know if anyone will even read it.  But for me, I have to write it down.  I have to talk it through without actually saying anything that I'm feeling.  Talking just feels like someone is pouring salt on a wound that is never going to heal.  But writing gives me clarity, and it helps me to think.  So to my family, this is for you.

For the past 11 weeks we have been planning, and dreaming, and wondering what our new baby was going to be like.  Boy or girl?  Would she be funny like her brother?  Would she be a Daddy's girl?  How would we decorate the nursery?  What would it be like having double the cuteness and double the cuddles in our growing family?  But all of those "what if's" are gone, and it's the most gutwrenching pain I've ever experienced in my life.  We were one week away from the second trimester, the point when you're supposed to be safe, the point when you know you've made it and everything is going to be fine.

On Wednesday August 8th, a day that I hate, a day that I will never forget, we were scheduled for a dating ultrasound at UNC Women's hospital.  I got up like usual, went to work that morning, kissed Cameron on the forehead on the way out the door, and told Nathan to be ready when I got home so we could go to our appointment.  I was sick that morning, which gave me hope.  A positive sign that our baby was growing.  I felt nervous all morning though, and I couldn't explain why.  I couldn't get anything done at work, and the morning just seemed to drag on.  Finally 12:30 arrived and I could leave to get my family.

It took us forever to find a parking space at UNC.  We drove around and around and I became more and more anxious.  We finally made it to ultrasound, filled out some paperwork and waited.  Cameron was all grins wearing his "Big Brother" t-shirt, and yelling at everyone who walked by.

 They called us back and I remember feeling so excited to walk into the room.  I laid down on the table, while talking to the ultrasound tech about how far along I thought we were.  I turned and looked at the monitor, ready to see my baby and finally hear that beautiful "swoosh swoosh swoosh" letting me know the heart was strong and healthy.

But that wasn't what happened...

The tech began asking me tons of questions, wondering if I had any problems.  She kept searching around, and there was no movement, no heartbeat.  She tried moving me around to wake the baby and there was simply nothing.  Questions kept coming and I could hear my heart throbbing so loudly that I'm not even sure what she said.  My heart was sinking.  I knew what was happening, and yet she couldn't say anything to us.  I couldn't speak, I couldn't think, I couldn't breathe.

She told us to wait in the room.  The doctor wasn't there and we would have to wait for her to come and talk to us.  The tech left the room, the ultrasound pictures left on the screen.  Every ounce of energy, and hope, and promise was sucked out of the room, and I swear I thought the walls were going to crash down.

The doctor finally arrived and the only thing she said is, "It appears that the fetus has died.  We don't know when it happened.  It was nothing that you did.  Let's talk about your options."  It was so stoic, and cold, and rational, and absolutely the worst thing I could ever imagine happening.  We didn't even have two minutes as a family to process the words before we were told what our options were.

The next few hours were a blur.  It was like living in the absolute worst nightmare you could ever imagine with no chance of waking up.  One of those dreams where you are running, and yet you feel like you aren't moving.  Like drowning with no way to reach the surface of the water.

We lost our baby...

I've had friends who have been through it, and who have come out strong and survived.  But I know now that's all that it is.  Surviving.  They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  And maybe that's true.  But right now, it simply feels like whatever doesn't kill you, just beats the hell out of you and then leaves you to fend for yourself.  A miscarriage is horrible.  It's painful.  It's the most horrific thing I've ever experienced.  It results in pure emptiness, and no matter how much support you have around you, you feel completely and utterly alone.

We LOST our baby.  I can type it, but I still can't say it out loud.

I would not be surviving if it wasn't for Nathan, and for Cameron.  Plain and simple.  Nathan holds my hand, and lets me cry and talk as much as I want to, and he has been so strong even though I know he's falling apart too.  Cameron is my reason that I know I have to press on, the reason I know I have to survive.

After a lot of crying, Nathan reminded me of the words of the Psalmist, "You created me in my inmost being.  You knit me together in my mother's womb."  God knows our baby.  God is holding our baby, and one day, we will too.  I have to remind myself that as much as we loved our child, God loved her just as much.  Those are tough words for me to say, because right now I just want to be pissed off, and I want someone to blame, and God seems to be an easy target.  But I know it's not God's fault.  It's not my fault, it's not Nathan's fault.  But it sucks, and it hurts like hell.

People keep asking if there is anything I want or need, but all I want is my baby.  MY baby.  The one that I carried, the one that I loved.

We gave her a name...

It's hard to find a gender neutral name.  I really felt that we were having a girl.  I knew what we were having when I was pregnant for Cameron, and I felt just as strongly this time around.  But being that we have no confirmation, I didn't want to do some horrible injustice to our child if I was wrong.

Taylor Ashley Wittman...

Taylor means cut or stitched into, and Ashley means tree.  Taylor Ashley Wittman is stitched into our family tree.  She will forever be a part of us, a part of our story, a part of who we are.  I will always love her and I will always remember the joy that she brought to me, the hope that she gave us, even if it was for just a short time in our lives.

I'm surviving.  We are surviving.  But it's because I owe it to my children. I owe it to Cameron to still be his mom, to still smile when he does something silly, to still laugh when he stuffs too many french fries in his mouth at once, and to hold him when he gets those occasional boo-boos.  And I owe it to Taylor, to be strong, and to carry on so that her life wasn't in vain.

To someone who has never been through this, it may just seem like something small, something that shouldn't be so difficult to move on from.  But that's certainly not the case.  This pain is REAL, this loss is REAL.  I lost a part of me, someone I love, someone I dreamed about, and prayed for every single night.

We lost our baby...

Healing is going to take a long time, maybe the rest of my life.  But I have hope.  God is holding us, and I'm so confident of that, I can FEEL it.  There is something to hope for.  There is a brighter future for us, and Taylor Ashley Wittman is another part of the amazing journey that our family has been on together.  This loss hurts like hell.  I can't stop crying.  I can't stop thinking about what might have been.

This blog is probably going to get a lot of action in the coming weeks, because I need a way to talk without actually talking.

Taylor Ashley Wittman, God stitched you together, and knew you.  I knew you, your father knew you, and I believe in my heart that even Cameron knew you.  We will always, always, always, love you, and I look forward to the day when I can finally hold you and see your beautiful face.